Australia wouldn't have supported UN resolution on Israeli settlements: Bishop

SBS World News Radio: Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has indicated Australia would have broken ranks with the Obama administration over a United Nations Security Council resolution on Israel.

As the Obama administration seeks to leave its foreign policy mark, Australia appears to be preparing for a potentially pro-Israel, President Trump.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has backed Israel, rather than the US and New Zealand, over a U-N resolution on Israeli settlements.

In a statement, Ms Bishop says the Australian Government remains firmly committed to a two-state solution, where Israel and a Palestinian state exist side-by-side in peace and security.

Australia is not a member of the UN Security Council so had no vote.

But if it had, Ms Bishop says, Australia likely wouldn't have supported the resolution because the Coalition Government has consistently not supported what she calls one-sided resolutions targeting Israel.

Liberal Senator Eric Abetz says it's the right stance to take.

"The simple fact is that one-sided resolutions out of the United Nations will not assist the problems that exist in the Middle East."

The resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem was followed by a strongly-worded speech from the US Secretary of State, John Kerry.

Jeremy Jones, from the Australia-Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, says the speech shows desperation on the part of the Obama administration.

"No I think it is Australia being consistent. We have to see what's going on in the US. There is a government in its last days, it is behaving in a way which I think is embarrassing. It is completely inappropriate. "

But others warn the Liberal party's stance, which is broadly supported by Labor, may no longer be feasible because of continued Israeli settlement expansion.

Professor Ramesh Thakur is from the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University.

Professor Thakur says he's concerned Australia would hypothetically vote against a resolution in support of order.

"I think it is also remarkably shortsighted of us, because above everything else, and with good reason in recent times, we have emphasised repeatedly the importance of a rules-based order."

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been invited to visit Australia in the new year.



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